The American TV network CNBC says leading carmakers have told them that the driverless car will become like your mobile phone: Something that you’ll much rather own than hire.
It’s previously been widely agreed that autonomous vehicles will be part of the sharing economy with people “calling them up” when they need them.
But two major auto giants told CNBC they aren’t worried and said that while Uber will enjoy great success, the connected car will become a consumer device that people will want to own.
“If you think that you have a car only for mere cold transportation, then you can take bus, you can take a taxi, and Uber is going to develop the taxi system…then yes, right, you don’t need to buy a car,” Carlos Ghosn, the chief executive of Renault-Nissan, said during a CNBC technology event at Davos last week.
“But people use a car for many other things and with the connectivity coming, the car is going to become a kind of working space, it’s going to become a living space. Because if in the car you can connect, interface, video conference… it becomes your own space, you’re going to have your own photos, your own email, your own music, your own calls, your own everything, it becomes like your iPhone, you want something belonging to you.”
As well as the connected experience of cars, the use cases will continue to differ in the future. While Uber might be useful for “megacities” in which parking and congestion is a problem, other areas will still see car ownership continue, according to one Volvo Cars executive.
The report also quotes Klas Bendrik, chief information officer at Volvo Cars as saying, “You have a different transportation need when you go from the cities to the suburban areas and if you go to the countryside you have a different transportation need. And I think this is also part of the development of the automotive industry and ecosystem… addressing various needs from the consumer perspective.”
(Picture: Carlos Ghosn, the chief executive of Renault-Nissan.)